NA body decides to club all laws related to women, child rights -
Pakistan Press Foundation

NA body decides to club all laws related to women, child rights

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Wednesday decided to club all laws related to women and children so that their interpretation and implementation can be made uniform.

The committee has also decided to invite civil society to cooperate with them in this regard.

Committee chair Riaz Fatyana said there are more than 100 complete laws and clauses in various laws related to the rights of women, and more than 30 laws govern child rights.

“This is a serious matter and creates confusion among the courts too, and we need to take up this responsibility,” he said, adding that laws related to child rights will be tackled first.

“We have an overregulated system, and according to my knowledge there are 740 laws that can be brought down to less than 300 by removing either the duplications or clubbing the relevant laws together,” he said.

Mr Fatyana added: “Besides, there are regular recommendations by the Council of Islamic Ideology, which is a constitutional body to suggest Sharia compliance of all laws in the country, but their recommendations are never looked into due to the work overload by the Ministry of Law.”

Adviser to the Ministry of Law Malik Hakim Khan told the committee that while this task is the responsibility of the Law and Justice Commission, it would not be illegal for the standing committee to take it up instead.

The committee unanimously constituted a subcommittee led by Chaudhry Mehmood Bashir Virk from the PML-N that includes PPP’s Nafisa Shah, PTI’s Shunila Ruth and Kishwar Zehra from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to consolidate laws relating to children within 30 days.

The parliamentarians also decided that the subcommittee would include officials from the ministries of law, interior and human rights.

“We can even take support and input from members of civil society and experts of the relevant field,” Mr Fatyana said.

Wednesday’s committee meeting also saw a heated debate over a draft constitutional amendment to articles 51 and 59 moved by Ms Zehra, which calls for including one National Assembly seat for a disabled citizen from every province.

Proponents of the bill said disabled Pakistanis should be granted more say in the system and a quota of one seat from each province in the lower house will highlight their importance. Opponents argued that parties would start giving seats to disabled citizens and defining disability would become a challenge.

Law ministry adviser Mr Khan said the goal is to provide welfare and an overall environment where disabled people can work and grow, and one National Assembly seat would not fulfill this purpose.

The matter was referred to a vote, with five voting in favour, four against and Malik Ehsan from the PTI abstaining.